I had to smile to myself when I heard this just now on TV news – when a Turkish Muslim man standing outside Hagia Sophia, uttered these words …
“TODAY IS THE DAY HAGIA SOPHIA RETURNS TO ITS ORIGINS …” Really!
ORIGINS – HISTORICITY – FACTS THAT CAN NEVER BE ‘COVERED UP’
Dedicated on 27 December 537AD as a basilica or cathedral church for Greek Orthodox Christians. Emperor Justinian declared: “My Lord, thank you for giving me the chance to create such a worshipping place.”
It became a different kind of ‘worshipping place’ in 1453 after the Ottoman Conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul), when it became a Grand Mosque.
I think the Muslim gentleman was referring to the event of 567 years ago and not the original Christian dedication of 360A.D, 1,660 years ago or the dedication of the current building to Sancta Sophia (Holy Wisdom) 1,483 years ago.
Blessings on all who continue worshipping on this site. May its Christian origin and history continue to be respected and honoured – a heritage that can never be covered-up, erased or denied.